Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Chinese Gov't Offals Beat Blogger to Death

A Chinese Blogger was beaten to death in the street by local Government Officials after he tried to record a Villager's protest on his cell-phone. Wei Wenhua, a 41 year old Construction company manager and blogger reportedly happened upon a violent clash between villagers and a group of Municipal Inspectors who were attempting to dump trash in their village. That the 50 government inspectors felt justified in beating Wenhua to death for attempting to document their illegal activity is indicative of the barbaric attitude China's Government-Culture has towards the rights of the individual or the ancient Western concept that laws should apply to everybody -even members of the ruling power stucture.

The Chinese Government is particularly sensitive to losing face at this time, as they want to show a civilized facade to the world in time for Beijing's 2008 Olympics. The Government has responded to the killing by arresting 24 municipal inspectors whilst investigating more than 100 others in relation to the incident. CNN reports the killing has sparked outrage in China, “with thousands expressing anger in Chinese Internet chat rooms, often the only outlet for public criticism of the government.”

When I first heard about this killing, I expected the protest to be about the land privatization movement in China. Added to the government's troubles, is the Unrest that has also been growing in China over what villagers and farmers see as unfair land management policies. Under the Communist system of collectivization of farmland, peasant farmers have been assigned plots to work on. They don't own the land, and can be re-assigned at the government's whim. Earlier this week I heard a CBC Radio news story about how Land Developers with close connections to the Communist Party were arranging to have the peasant farmers booted off prime land near growing urban areas without compensation. The Developers then profited hugely from developing the land.

Nothing is wrong about making a huge profit in an honest manner, but in this case it's blatant Government Corruption and Theft. This is what growing numbers of Chinese villagers and farmers are angry about. They are pressing the government to allow them to own the land they farm, and be compensated if it is appropriated.

Fat chance.

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